When does “Project Management” stop and “Management” begin?

Managers and Leaders

I believe that a project manager needs to be seen as a leader – a leader of the project, and a leader of the project team members. Now some people make a clear distinction between “management” (duties to plan, organise, and co-ordinate) and “leadership” (duties to motivate and inspire).

Role of the Project Manager

However, a project manager needs to do all of these things; Inspire the staff to believe in the project, motivate them to undertake the tasks, as well as plan, organise, and co-ordinate project activities and monitor the project progress.

  • A manager follows procedures, whilst a leader deals with each individual in order to understand their particular motivation, and how to get the best out of them.
  • A manager may give numerical targets, whilst a leader may give a vision of what could be achieved.
  • A manager tries to control, whilst a leader builds trust and confidence.
  • A manager tells, when the leader listens.
  • A leader will gain respect. Every project manager (or project leader!) needs to gain the respect of the staff working for them. Without respect, it will be very difficult to motivate or inspire team members to do more than the bare minimum.

 

These “people issues” are often called the “soft skills” of project management, with the tools of CPA etc. being the “hard skills”. However, I believe that it is the “soft skills” that are hard (difficult!)
Perhaps we need to talk less about project management and more about project leadership.

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Posted On: 12th April 2016

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